Getting professional help with your 2011 Federal Tax Filing would allow you to get your Back Taxes and obtain the money that belongs to you. If you have not been able to get your information ready in time, you probably missed out on the date that you were supposed to file your taxes. When this happens, you likely have money that is owed to you. However, not filing also means that you are not able to obtain this money because of the fact that you took too long to complete the filing process. If you find yourself in this position, you want to do what it takes to get the money that the government has been holding for you. Instead of allowing them to keep the money, you can have someone help you to get this money back into your pocket.
Doing 2011 Federal Tax Filing is not something that you should worry about when you have the assistance of a team that knows what they are doing. Through the use of these services, you would be able to get your taxes done quickly, this would allow you to get the money that belongs to you into your bank account as quickly as possible. It is very likely that you do not have a large amount of extra money, you should do what it takes to claim what is yours today.
If the idea of being your own boss seems increasingly attractive in these trouble economic times, you’re not alone. Surprisingly large numbers of individuals have taken, or are taking, the leap into self-employment. It seems odd, when the economy is contracting, but it is often the case during recessions that the number of self-employed and new small businesses rises. Small businesses are now leading the way in job creation; with more people facing job insecurity and redundancy, for many the only choice is to create their own job. The idea is attractive at any time, being your own boss means freedom to take control of a big part of your life. However, not all businesses will succeed and one crucial area that causes businesses to fail in the early days is poor planning, particularly of the financial kind. So what are the key tools to help you overcome the obstacles?
Basic Planning Matters
Planning can seem like a very boring part of preparing to go it alone. However, it’s possibly the most essential part of the process. Planning every aspect of your business from your marketing strategy to finding premises is absolutely necessary. Planning your financial arrangements should also figure highly on your list.
Financial planning should include obvious, and frequently overlooked, matters like invoicing software and accounting software. Customers will need to be billed and you need to be clear how this is going to work. Simple paper invoices are fine; they are also time-consuming to produce and track. Invoicing software makes the process straightforward – and should be fool proof.
An accountant is an absolute must for any business or self-employee. Tax and VAT regulations are complex and ever changing. Regulations that apply to your company will vary depending on its size and could easily change as you grow. Working with a professional from the start will ensure you stay on the right side of HMRC. When choosing an accountant consider the following.
Finding an Accountant
Do find an accountant before, or when, you start trading. It’s perfectly understandable that many small firms put this off. Why pay for a service before you’re earning? The simple answer is that you may not be aware of what records you need to keep. Tax authorities recommend keeping records for at least six years. An accountant can guide you through this from the start.
Contact a number of accountants and ask some questions. Different firms operate on different charging structures. Some will list charges for each service – which can allow you to pick and choose what you need. Others will agree a service level for a fee – payable quarterly or monthly. This may suit you if you will have a high volume of accounting work that needs to be dealt with frequently.
Find out what prospective accountants recommend in terms of accounting software. Software comes in a range of options, including cloud versions which are extremely flexible and versatile. Using online accounting software means that it will not matter what software your chosen accountant uses – they will be able to access your records online as and when required.
As your own boss you’ll be responsible for far more areas of your business than the actual work you do to bring in the cash. While you don’t need to be an expert typist to type a letter, or a world class receptionist to answer the phone, areas such as accounting need specialists to be involved. Don’t consider cutting corners on this particular aspect of your business but shop around carefully for a service that suits your specific needs and business. With the right accountant and the right accounting software, making ends meet will seem effortless.
Simon Wilson blogs about small business issues and challenges, focusing on everything from accounting software to how small businesses can use social media. When he’s not online Simon enjoys playing cricket and is a big movie fan.
While it may seem that any bookkeeper or even keeping track of your own books will do, there is much to be said for employing a good accountant for your personal and business finances.
Of course a good accountant will cost a fair amount of money, but in the long run having a capable accountant in charge of the books will save much more money than it costs. A good accountant will be able to see areas where expenses can be reduced as well as those instances where income can be increased. A really good accountant will even be able to make suggestions as to where productivity can be increased and save even more time and money.
A good accountant will be able to spot fraud where you may not be able to. Accountants are trained to recognize suspicious patterns and occurrences that a standard bookkeeper or even a business owner may not notice. They can see when payroll is not quite right or when ghost deliveries area being made, and because they understand what is going on they can catch the culprit before he even knows anyone is onto him. A potential perpetrator of fraud will realize they stand a much less chance of being successful and fraud will be deterred.
While bookkeeping software and basic accounting knowledge can get you far, there is too much at stake when it comes to accounting. Difficult accounting issues can arise when you least expect, and having a good accountant on your side will save time, and time is money of course. An example that involves both fraud and cost would be if the business owner suspected fraud. He might spend a lot of time trying to figure out what is going on, while an accountant will know exactly what to look for to prove definitively whether fraud is an issue in very little time. Another way time will be saved by employing a good accountant is in basic training. Business owners have to spend the time to understand accounting and train on any software being used, while an accountant has already spent this time and is ready to get to work.
As a business owner, you will be free to deal with other aspects of the business if you have a good accountant dealing with the finances. With an accountant to keep you informed, you can rest easy knowing that if the budget or other financial issues need your attention, you will be notified. This allows you to concentrate on whatever other business matters you need to and nothing slips through the cracks because you are trying to do too many things at once. If you are trying to deal with payroll and other financial issues while other areas need your attention, something important is likely to not get done. It all boils down to specialization. No one does finances better than a trained accountant, and having one handle your finances give you peace of mind, frees up your time, and saves you money.
Dennis works for one of Australia’s biggest accounting firms and knows the importance of finding a good accountant to manage both personal and business finances. Such is his expertise in the industry, Dennis is regularly used as a consultant to provide his fellow accountants with tips and advice for a range of situations.
Tax season is upon us, and with it comes a lot of work and a lot of stress. It is everyone’s goal to come out of a tax filing with some extra money in pocket – or at least to have to come up with as little out of pocket as possible. Therefore, it is extremely important not to miss any and every possible deduction you can take whenever you are preparing your tax forms. If you are not an expert in tax code, then it is likely there are some deductions you could miss if you are not conscious of them. Here are some commonly overlooked tax deductions to watch out for:
State sales tax. It is hard to miss this deduction, but many people skip over it in favor of the state income tax deduction, which makes sense, considering state income taxes are often the bigger tax burden. However, you might want to reconsider if you have made any large purchases over the past year, as sales tax on automobiles and homebuilding supplies can really add up. Many people overlook the sales taxes they paid on these major items, and therefore fail to even make the comparison when itemizing their deductions.
Charitable donations. It is easy to forget the small contributions you make toward charities over the year, but it pays to keep records of them because they really can add up. In addition to that furniture you dropped off at the Goodwill, you can also write off payments to your child’s PTA fundraiser, any supplies involved in making those cakes for the bake sale, and any mileage your car incurred while driving to and from charitable events, among other things.
Caregiver expenses. If you are the responsible caregiver for you parent, then you can write off the costs associated with providing that care, from nursing home bills to in-home health aides.
Mortgage-related costs. You can write off any points you paid to get your new mortgage loan or refinance your existing mortgage loan, as well as any interest you paid on your mortgage over the course of the year.
Job-related expenses. Costs related with finding a job, maintaining a job, and moving for a job can be written off. Common expenses that often get overlooked include transportation to and from interviews and training, employment agency fees, moving company fees, and costs associated with marketing yourself for a job (business cards, resumes, websites, etc.).
It may be possible for you to fare better on your taxes this year if you dig in this list of commonly overlooked deductions. Tax time requires some serious time and thought, but if you put those two things in, you can increase your chances of getting more (or giving less) in your annual dealings with the IRS.
About the Author: Maryalice Dunwoody is a tax advisor who enjoys helping family members and friends maximize their returns. When she’s not working, she relaxes with the oolong tea she loves most and searches goldenmoontea.com for new blends and gifts for others.
I have spent the entire Saturday analyzing my tax returns, both Federal and State, first I did a Joint return with the Federal we came out even that is we do not owe the tax man and he owes us very little, not even enough for a very good bottle of wine. However with the sate that was different we owe almost five hundred dollars, so I decided to evaluate the option of Married Filing Separate, at the back of my mind I know that in the Federal Tax return this is the most expensive option, but there could be savings on the State return.
I allocated all the income between my wife and I, that is whatever income is attached to her social security number belongs to her, then I analyzed the Schedule A deductions, this gets a little tricky, like the mortgage interest expense and Real Estate Taxes is attached to my social security number therefore I had to split those between us. Expenses such as medical, dental, eye glasses we have our separate bills for the year and as faith would have it all the medications are mine. I had to pay special attention to the medical expenses because we are residents of Ohio and there is a credit for medical expenses on Ohio Tax Line 47. Please note there are many good Tax Return software on the market which could have done this automatically, if I had use one like TurboTax it would have taken me a lot less time, but it snowed today and I am confined to the basement of our home.
After refiguring both federal and State, the result shows it would be a very bad idea to file Married Separate for the Federal return, however on the State return was completely different, we both ended up with small refunds instead of a liability of almost five hundred. On our combine return filing joint we had an effective Tax Rate of almost 5% while on the Married Filing Separate return my effective tax rate is 4.5% and hers 3.5% although collectively we have a total higher rate on the Separate returns we did not owe any State Tax as in the Joint Return which has a lower rate.
I was very amazed and I checked it several times, then I logged on to the State of Ohio Tax Web page and entered the information for two separate returns and Walla I was right all that work pays off sometimes it is better to File Married Filing Separate for the State return. Although I am not a Tax Expert I found the process was not that difficult our return was a simple clear cut return with just my wife and I, can I claim the dog?, OH the dog belongs to my youngest child Dang remember a pet is not a dependent.
So, tax season is here. Yipee! No, really, tax season is here – bring on the headaches. It’s probably safe to say that no one actually enjoys filing taxes. Even if you are expecting a considerable refund, it can be a real chore gathering all of the necessary paperwork and wracking your brain to document any and every deductible item you can think of. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process go a little more smoothly, and to ensure you get the most favorable results possible. Here are five tips for preparing to file your 2011 tax returns:
Scheduling time. Filing your tax returns is not a task to take lightly. It requires your undivided attention. Don’t attempt to prepare your taxes over dinner, while watching television, or in the office break room. Instead, pencil in a specific time to work on your taxes at home, when you know the house will be quiet and you can get your mind in full-on tax mode. That’s the only way to avoid unnecessary mistakes that could end up costing you a lot of money.
Recordkeeping. The best time to begin preparing to file your 2011 tax returns is in January of 2011. Ok, it’s obviously too late for that, but keep this in mind for 2012. Make it a point to get into good recordkeeping habits, so that you have complete, accurate, and thorough records when it comes time to actually sit down and file your returns.
Organization. Create a filing system specifically for your tax return records. What should go in your filing system? Receipts for all of your write-offs, paperwork from income sources (W-2s or 1099s), investment account statements, social security statements, interest-earned bank statements, college financial aid statements, and/or anything else that you may need a record of when it comes time to shell out the backup.
Learn the codes. You don’t have to have a thorough knowledge of every tax code out there, but make it a point to bone-up on the latest tax codes that may affect your tax return status. If you are not all that tax-savvy, there are some simple, easy to understand tax code narratives on websites designed for people just like you.
Choose filing method. How complicated are your taxes? Are you comfortable doing them yourself? If so, there are some really great programs that you can use to do your own tax work. However, if you find that you aren’t sure about your tax preparation acumen, it’s best to hire a professional. Decide now how you want to handle this issue so you can start shopping around for the best software, tax preparation office, or accountant for you.
You don’t have to like filing your taxes, but you still have to file them. Ease some of your tax season frustrations by thinking ahead and following these simple tips.
About the Author: Carrol Petruska, NAC, NHA, CHA currently works in business administration and helps phlebotomy schools prepare for tax filing season. She started her career as a phlebotomist and then moved into the administrative side of the healthcare field. Visit http://www.associationphlebotomytraining.com/ for more information about phlebotomy associations and schools.